Skitch is an amazingly simple desktop and mobile app used for marking up images, PDFs and all sorts of digital documents. As a native app available on nearly every device type, it is a tool that can prove immensely useful to both teachers and students. Whether you are looking for a quick and elegant way to annotate your own documents, or searching for a world class app that students can add to their digital toolbox, Skitch has a multitude of applications across every discipline, duty and device.
Compatibility: Mac / Windows / iOS / Android
Access: No signup required
A Quick Look
1. Providing student feedback
One of the real beauties of using a tool like Skitch is that it has been designed to get your thoughts down fast. If your students are submitting their work in a digital format (pdf, jpg, etc) it can be easily imported into Skitch and you can start giving feedback right there on the digital page. Using arrows, text, shapes and icons, your feedback can be overlayed quickly and vividly to make your comments and suggestions clear and concise.
2. Marking up photographs
This is a really fun and flexible idea from Kindergarten teacher Candace Styers for using Skitch with younger students. Have your students take photos of each other using their tablet device and then use Skitch to label each part of their body or face. This could be taken further, having students photograph and annotate pages from books, scenes from the playground or even start creating some useful classroom resources by annotating where in the room different items can be found (ie. scissors are in the blue cupboard, paper is in the yellow desk, etc.).
3. Creating value with annotations
While using Skitch can be a learning activity in its own right, the real value of the app comes together when students integrate it into their work as one of many digital tools. Have your students use Skitch to add observations to experiment results they have collected. Have them mark up maps with directions and landmarks. The possibilities are truly endless when you start using the app as one of many tools rather than THE tool.
4. Peer review
The next time your students submit a project in digital form, have your class members peer review the work using Skitch. Peer review is not only an essential skill for students to learn how to deliver their feedback in constructive and positive ways, it is also an important skill in receiving feedback and criticism from their peers and using it to grow.
5. Design a how-to guide
Explaining a process or teaching others how a task is performed is a skill that students will require time and time again in their schooling, career and life. Have your students put together their own ‘how-to’ guide using Skitch. This will put their understanding of a subject or strategy to the test, as well as push the limits of what they can get out of the tool.
Links and Next Steps
- Getting Started with Skitch – Guides for using Skitch on Mac, Windows, iOS and Android
- Skitch Forum – Discuss and ask questions in the vibrant Skitch community
- Skitching in the Kindergarten Classroom – Ideas for using Skitch with younger students
- Physics Toolbox Accelerometer and Skitch – Video (2 min)
- Skitch Classroom Integration – PDF of ideas and tasks to try with students
- Using Skitch to Markup Maps in the Classroom – Video (4 min)
- Skitch in the Music Room – Video (5 min)
Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, Roberto Taddeo.